All Means Everyone
By Nicole Flynn, Associate Consultant
What voices are heard?
As a person who has Trisomy 21, I have an emic perspective about the lives of people who have Down syndrome. I have had a lot of opportunity in my life. I have achieved a lot of goals, but it didn’t happen overnight. It took an on-going effort, battling barriers, blazing trails and proving professionals wrong.
Having Down syndrome doesn’t stop us, society does, or more specifically, attitudes in society. It is very difficult to be part of this society as a person who has a disability. Attitudes from the past continue to be the greatest barrier of them all. The point of view has to change from considering adults who have Down syndrome as a permanent child to having an expectation that the children who have Down syndrome will mature into adults. Adults who are capable of being contributing community members. People who have Down syndrome are typically overlooked as employees, underestimated in ability, and undervalued as community members.
We need to change the past to make a better future by acting now. We must make the difference today for the tomorrows to be better. This will lead to a stronger future for everyone, rather then dwelling on, and reliving the past.
Providing the tools for success and believing in the person will help them reach their goals. This will increase the value of the person. It is important to assume that a person is capable of being successful. Giving someone the chance to try, with the expectation that they will succeed, one step at a time will increase confidence. Seeing a person for who they are and what they are capable of achieving, will increase their position in the community.
All people want to be seen and heard, including people who have Down syndrome. Building diverse, accessible, and inclusive communities will enable everyone to be involved. Welcoming people who have Down syndrome into the community will enhance creativity, and ensure all voices are heard at the table.
Nicole Flynn is from the rural area of Centre Hastings, Ontario. She is a graduate of the Loyalist College General Arts and Science diploma program (not modified). Nicole is an entrepreneur, an Associate Consultant with People Minded Business Inc. (PMB), and an international medalist in three sports. She is a global citizen who believes in freedom, power, and prosperity for everyone.
Nicole’s goal is to experience and learn more about what is happening around the world and to share her knowledge with others. It is her hope that by reading Nicole’s Notes, people will broaden their perspective, re-evaluate their assumptions and attitudes, and bring their creative ideas and inputs to the table.